US is ‘most sat­is­fac­tory’ des­ti­na­tion for Chi­nese trav­el­ers

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -


The United States has been voted for the first time the most sat­is­fac­tory des­ti­na­tion for Chi­nese out­bound tourists, fol­lowed by Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore, New Zealand and Italy, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the China Tourism Academy.

“With its ur­ban im­age, lo­cal trans­porta­tion, Chi­ne­se­friendly ser­vices and its visa ap­pli­ca­tion process ev­er­im­prov­ing, more Chi­nese tend to fly across the globe to spend their va­ca­tion,” said Dai Bin, head of the academy.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Chi­nese trav­el­ers are more sat­is­fied with the out­bound des­ti­na­tions in 2015 com­pared with the same pe­riod last year.

While Sin­ga­pore, Ja­pan and South Korea are the top three most well-re­ceived short-dis­tance des­ti­na­tions, the US, Aus­tralia and New Zealand are most pop­u­lar among the long-dis­tance cat­e­gory com­pared with Brazil, Ar­gentina and South Africa.

Other pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions in­clude Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore, New Zealand, Italy, Ger­many, Canada, France, Ja­pan, South Korea, Bri­tain, Malaysia, Rus­sia, Thai­land, Brazil, Spain, South Africa and Ar­gentina, said the re­port.

Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by US-based travel in­for­ma­tion web­site Trav­el­zoo, the US was also the top des­ti­na­tion for in-depth tourism and fam­ily tours by Chi­nese, an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar form of travel wel­comed by the Chi­nese, fol­lowed by Aus­tralia, Ja­pan and France. The US has been steadily re­ceiv­ing pos­i­tive feed­back from Chi­nese trav­el­ers.

How­ever, ex­perts say be­ing the most sat­is­fac­tory des­ti­na­tion for the first time has a lot to do with the China-US agree­ment on a re­cip­ro­cal 10-year visa that al­lows mul­ti­ple en­tries for tourists and busi­ness­men and gives stu­dents of both coun­tries fiveyear visas.

The eas­ier visa ap­pli­ca­tion process will re­sult in more Chi­nese head­ing to the US for va­ca­tions, de­spite the dis­tance, said Vi­vian Hong, pres­i­dent of Trav­el­zoo.

The US Depart­ment of Com­merce es­ti­mates more than 7 mil­lion more Chi­nese tourists will ar­rive by 2021.

Trav­el­zoo web­site said these visi­tors pro­duce an an­nual rev­enue of $85 bil­lion and cre­at­ing 440,000 jobs in the coun­try.

Since China and the US signed an agree­ment late last year to ex­tend tourist and busi­ness visas from one year to 10 years, and stu­dent visas from one year to five years, there has been a grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity for the des­ti­na­tion among Chi­nese tourists, and the US State Depart­ment has seen a 41 per­cent in­crease in Chi­nese ap­pli­ca­tions for US visas as of May, ac­cord­ing to Christo­pher Thompson, pres­i­dent and CEO of Brand USA, for­merly the Cor­po­ra­tion for Travel Pro­mo­tion.

The US is­sued 351,650 busi­ness and tourist visas to Chi­nese cit­i­zens in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary, a year-on-year in­crease of 68.2 per­cent.

“The 10-year visa is def­i­nitely a boost for pop­u­lar­ity, es­pe­cially for a vast and longdis­tance des­ti­na­tion like the US, where Chi­nese tourists might want to ex­plore its east coast, west coast and Hawaii on sev­eral trips,” said Zheng Chun at the Bei­jing bureau of Brand USA.

The num­ber of Chi­nese visi­tors to the US is still grow­ing at a two-digit speed, she said.

“Canada was No 1 in the num­ber of visi­tors com­ing to na­tional parks, but Chi­nese have taken that spot now,” said Zheng.

Ac­cord­ing to Brand USA, to welcome the up­com­ing cen­ten­nial an­niver­sary of the coun­try’s na­tional parks, it is film­ing a doc­u­men­tary that will be re­leased next year.

Data from the Chi­nese Lux­ury Trav­eler 2015 re­port by Hu­run Re­port and ILTM Asia show, some 65 per­cent of China’s out­bound trav­el­ers are “su­per­trav­el­ers”, those high net worth in­di­vid­u­als who have in­creased their travel pe­riod to some 20 days as well as the amount they spend.

The US, how­ever, has been the su­per­trav­el­ers’ sec­ond­most-pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for the past three years, it said.

Some 2.2 mil­lion Chi­nese trav­el­ers vis­ited the United States last year and spent more than $23 bil­lion, mak­ing China the sec­ond-big­gest source of for­eign- tourist spend­ing within the US, ac­cord­ing to the 2014 In­ter­na­tional Vis­i­ta­tion to the United States Re­port re­leased by the US Na­tional Travel and Tourism Of­fice last month.

Nine out of 10 Chi­nese tourists in the US shopped in the coun­try, spend­ing an av­er­age of $10,800, it said.

“China has the largest out­bound tourism mar­ket, and the Chi­nese have be­come the big­gest spenders among global visi­tors,” said Dai.

Fig­ures from the academy re­veal that the num­ber of Chi­nese out­bound tourists reached 116 mil­lion last year, an in­crease of 17.8 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year.

The academy said it is op­ti­mistic about the tourism econ­omy in 2015, based on the per­for­mance of the first half of this year, pre­dict­ing that China will see 135 mil­lion out­bound jour­neys.

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